Former South African president Jacob Zuma on Thursday laid a charge against the National Prosecuting Authority’s advocate Billy Downer SC for allegedly leaking confidential medical records to journalists while the State vs Zuma hearing was under way.
Zuma, in a nine-page sworn statement given to officials at the Pietermaritzburg police station, said there was criminal interference in his case as people who were not authorised to conduct an investigation did so.
The former head of state arrived after lunch at the Pietermaritzburg police station in the Msunduzi municipality on Thursday and gave a brief message to the media before the Zuma Foundation spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, read out the full affidavit.
Zuma said outside the station: “We are here to open a case for the prosecutor. They’ll read and say what the case is about. There’s nothing more I’m going to say. I’m going to leave them here. You’ll be able to bond with them because you already know them. You cannot bond with me because I am a prisoner and prisoners get beaten.”
The NPA issued a statement on Thursday saying it was aware of the charges being brought against Downer, but said it was concerned about the context within which the charges were laid.
“The NPA is committed to upholding due process and the rule of law and will assess the merits of the charges in an objective manner. We also note that these charges are laid while the matter is subject to judicial determination by the High Court in Pietermaritzburg and judgment is expected to be delivered on October 26,” the NPA’s spokesperson, advocate Mthunzi Mhaga, said.
“While the law must be allowed to take its course, the NPA is concerned about the context within which these charges have been laid, and the timing in light of the pending judgment of the High Court.”
Vocal backer of Zuma and RET champion Nkosentsha Shezi said outside the police station that the court case against Zuma was unfair.
“I am hopeful. However, the environment in which any court proceedings that are brought against Jacob Zuma have happened in an environment that is poisoned by a somewhat unfair legal system,” Shezi said.
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